The NHL’s April 3 trade deadline is officially a day past us, and there was a flurry of action over the last 36 hours right before the deadline. Almost every team in the league made some kind of move, whether it was a buy or a sell. Here is a look at the biggest winners and losers after the madness.
Pittsburgh Penguins (28-10-0)
My goodness is GM Ray Shero aggressive. They were already arguably the best team in the league before they acquired skilled and physical winger Jarome Iginla from the Calgary Flames. But wow – look at their roster now. It’s looking more and more like the Pens and the Blackhawks are on a no-turning-back collision course in the Stanley Cup Finals. Pittsburgh also traded for Dallas Stars’ center and longtime captain, Brenden Morrow, in exchange for talented 19-year-old
defensive prospect Joe Morrow (no relation). My only concern for the Pens is their long-term flexibility. They gave away a boatload of prospects to acquire two aging veterans who likely won’t be around for too long. Sure they could win the cup this year (and even repeat next year), but I’m beginning to think the following four to six years could be a question mark.
Minnesota Wild (21-13-2)
They are a darkhorse contender in the west right now, but trading for Buffalo winger Jason Pominville bolstered their position pretty quickly. He’s another young, 25-point winger that will compliment Zach Parise and Mikku Koivu excellently. It was a great deal for the “State of Hockey.” The Wild only had to give up a backup goalie, Matt Hackett, and forward prospect Johan Larsson. They now have a bundle of tricky wingers with dangerous play-making ability, so watch out
Anaheim and Chicago. At their best, this team can now skate with any in the league.
Buffalo Sabres (14-17-6)
Alright, so you might be in the toughest division in hockey. You are miles away from any playoff hopes. What do you do? Trade your second leading scorer (Jason Pominville)?? This deal made absolutely no sense to me. There are two main reasons why this deal is a stinker for the Sabres. One – giving away Pominville removes a key playmaker on their top line, which only throws more burden on Tomas Vanek (who was single-handedly keeping them in it for the first two months).
Two – Buffalo absolutely did not need a goalie in this trade. Matt Hackett only has four starts this season anyway. Ryan Miller is the man between the pipes for this franchise, no questions. This is a disappointing end for a club that had high hopes for this season.
Dallas Stars (16-17-3)
Only for now. They scrapped a significant offensive portion of their team, but they got quality prospects in return from several different clubs including Vancouver, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Colorado. They are officially in rebuilding mode, which will take them 3-6 years to recover from but, hey, look how Edmonton is doing right now. They are focusing on the future. Check back in on them in a few years and you’ll see them near the top of the west, alongside Edmonton and Colorado.